Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Planning = Generosity?
"It is amazing how much you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit"
Harry Truman, US President (1945-53)

Q. Should planners be content to be the cheery midwives to brand ideas and let creative teams bask in the flashbulbs ? (Russell Davies School) ? Or can planners take active pride in their intellectual offsprings (Richard Huntington school) without isolating the creative team relationships needed to spin them into gold?
Monday, October 16, 2006
Negative emotions
Peel your average brand onion and you'll find tears of joy. Brands traits tend to be described in seventeen shades of positive: Upbeat. Cheery. Optimistic. And becuase nuance is so easily overlooked (so the theory goes) best not make any bones about it : Up for anything. Glass half full.

Truth is the the negative emotions are perhaps the richest. Think of the most memorable film you ever saw, chances are it wasn't simply happy ever after. And with so many happy-clappy brands around could yours find a bit of original traction by admitting a darker side? Impossible ? Not really, how about the 'No mercy' Weedol campaign or the digust driven underside of Marmite's 'You either love it or hate it' proposition. (Just don't do a Strand...)
Planning = collaboration

Planners are almost always the third most important people in any agency, which means we have to know how to collaborate.

Russell Davies

Sunday, October 08, 2006
Research talks
A growing vault of communication research podcasts can be found here.

(Loved the forthright crystal-ballisms of Ian Pearson, BT Futurologist)
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Metrics get results
Here are 12 Steps to use metrics to get to the heart of your business, in a Ready, Aim Fire approach:


1. Democratize – standardize the data and give open access to the data or reports to the masses.
2. Focus – what are the killer metrics / levers in the business? Does everyone know what these key metrics are?
3. Own – give people ownership for key metrics. Someone who pulls together the team to drive the metric, educate, evangelize, report.
4. Partner – put goals in performance plans of cross-functional partners.


5. Define – Define your metrics in ways people can understand. Use industry standards. Describe definitions in laymen’s terms, and educate the masses.
6. Report – Create an easy to read, regularly updated, consistent report that is distributed widely.
7. Co-habitate – Merge your analytics with standard business reporting. Where are the eyes on the business? Put your metrics there. Put them at the top. Don’t reinvent reports and channels.
8. Visualize – Show some meaning behind the numbers. Connect emotionally, create internal buzz and sound bytes.


9. Causate – Show the connections of what causes what: Y=f(x). This is a Six sigma methodology. Do A/B testing and pilots to show what moves these metrics people are now paying attention to.
10. Extrapolate – Show what if scenarios. If we do this, this lever changes, makes this customer or P&L impact. Then extrapolate to larger number (a quarter of a year of impact) to get a lot of attention.
11. Compete – Create internal competitions to improve metrics. Inspire people with stretch goals with a “Results Rabbit” for people to go after.
12. Share – Present results of business impact related to web metrics. Show the impact to the business.

Via here

Friday, October 06, 2006
self help for brands
"I always tell prospective clients about the chinks in our armor. I have noticed that when an antique dealer draws my attention to flaws in a piece of furniture, he wins my confidence."
David Ogilvy, Confessions of an Advertising Man (1963)

Don't Be Afraid to Show Shortcomings
1. What are you insecure about?
2. Who do you try to hide it from?
3. What's the cost of hiding it? stress? strained relationships?
4. Practice being more open about your daily struggles - perhaps starting small
5. In the process you'll give others the permission to do the same - unlocking energy all around you.

From FastCompany
Thursday, October 05, 2006
The Perfect Brief Mark III
What community do you want to engage with / create?

What do you want people to say about your brand?

Why should they say anything at all?

Very Seth Godin. Via RD
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
beyond the proposition
Another creative brief contender, one that thinks beyond the autocratic proposition :

1. What is the problem we're trying to solve? (ie role of communications)
2. Who is this among?
3. Where is the best start point to solve this? (a replacement to the proposition - more about an approach than the usual what should the advertising say)
4. How can we make this interesting? (or why should people care) - more about trying to give some social ammunition/cultural influence
5. Any sacred cows? (the real mandatories)
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Beyond media neutrality

TV used to be king - every other brand touchpoint told the TV story in their own way.
Then we had media neutrality - again one message across all touchpoints - but this time the idea was not (necessarily) born on TV.
Now we're (Grant, Davies) talking about embracing complexity and multi-messaging across the different touchpoints to build to a rich gestalt of brand meaning, albeit orientatied around the same strategic core.

Faris wonders about the media planning implications here
Cars as Fashion
John Grant on Cars.

If they are a public statement about your individual identity, do we have any brands to choose from? (That goes for beer brands too)
THE creative brief
Russell D is calling for the good and the great to share their ideas of the perfect creative brief here.

The TBWA 'disruption' version is overtly trying to force the planner to dump the cliches in the search for a new approach but i wonder whether section 1 is a bit of a flabby to really define the issue ? (From the comments section) :

1. Tell me the problem / opportunity / background.
2. How do people conventionally try to address /communicate the issue?
3. What's the consumer / industry insight that would drive us to think differently?
4. So, what is the Disruptive thought which will help to solve the issue?
5. Support / truth?
6. Who are we trying to persuade with this thought?
7. What's the tone?
8. Suggested channels to reach them?
9. Sacred cows?